There is a moment after something finishes and before something else starts that’s a little like silence. It feels like the moment before you fall asleep – that small forever, or the first, sharp breath you take after you’ve cried your eyes out. It’s the space between things we cannot see.

Being in that space is like sitting in an empyrean waiting room, which can suck, if the magazine selection is old, boring, and chewed up.

I am waiting.

I’m waiting for my job to start. I’m waiting for my dog to get over the trauma of being ripped away from her home. I’m waiting for the mysterious growth on my leg to either start talking to me or disappear.

And, I’m waiting for my date.

Meanwhile, my dress is hanging in the closet, waiting for me.

I’m walking Runyon Canyon with my dog and my friend John. I’ve known John for long time, and it just so happens that he lives out here. He’s the sort of friend you can talk to about a boil on your leg, which is a good sort of friend to have in L.A.. I am not well practiced in being perfect. He doesn’t seem to care.

We find a labyrinth right off the trail, which offers three divergent paths. John chooses the poet’s path, the one less traveled, and as he pushes me up a dry, steep hill, we understand why.

the waiting room

My dog, who has been out of sorts since we got to L.A., is smiling, tongue hanging, her tail held high. She’s off the leash and I’m so proud of her, sniffing dogs, making friends, keeping up with us.

“I’m secretly looking forward to this date,” I blurt out somewhere along the path.

“That’s good, isn’t it?”

I shrug. I don’t know if it’s good. In all this talk of my adventure, my study of dating habits across the country, I never once considered what would happen if I liked someone.

The leg growth is disappearing, though I hear it may take up to ten days to heal. Work starts tomorrow and will be all consuming for a couple of weeks, I fear. My dog had a good day and is sleeping in a sliver of afternoon sunlight. Hopefully, this is the beginning of her feeling like she, too, belongs here. And my date occurs in three hours. So, I’m still waiting.

But the magazine selection is really good.